Safeguarding should be a priority for all third sector organisations, especially those that work with children, young people and adults at risk.
Introduction to third sector safeguarding
WCVA's Safeguarding Service provides
information, resources, advice and training for third sector
organisations in Wales.
Why is this important?
- Organisations that work with at risk groups (e.g. children and
vulnerable adults) have legal responsibilities in relation to
- The Social Services and Well-being Act (2014)
introduced a strengthened, robust and effective partnership
approach to safeguarding in which each professional and
organisation must do everything they can, to ensure that children
and adults at risk are protected from abuse.
- The Charity Commission regards safeguarding as a
key governance priority for all charities, not just those that work
with groups traditionally considered vulnerable.
Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding - it is
Safeguarding is a valuable part of an organisation's governance
framework. It relates to:-
- health and safety
- staff recruitment, development and retention
- quality assurance
Good and appropriate safeguarding provides public reassurance
about your organisation and contributes to the positive reputation
of the third sector in general.
How WCVA can help
We can support you with the following:
|Information and Resources
||Self-assessment tools, templates and guidance for organisations
wishing to develop safeguarding policies and practices
||One-to-one confidential advice from our designated Safeguarding
||Open programme, bespoke and online safeguarding learning and
development opportunities available
Download our Safeguarding service leaflet
Get in touch
Phone: 0300 111 0124 (option 6)
Please scroll down for more information about third
sector safeguarding and free downloadable resources to support you
in maintaining high standards of safeguarding in your
Policy and practice
Every organisation working with children, young people or adults
who may be at risk due to age, illness or disability, should have a
It should be kept where it can be read and be made available to
all staff, volunteers and interested parties, once signed by the
chair of the board. The policy should include clear procedures for
responding to an allegation, disclosure of possible abuse or
concern about poor practice. The policy should be reviewed and
Whilst there are common good principles that should appear in
all safeguarding policies, the detail should be specific to each
Supervisors, staff and volunteers providing services to
children, young people or adults who may be at risk, should all
receive abuse awareness and safeguarding training to be able to
recognise when someone is at risk and respond appropriately to
allegations or suspicions. Staff / volunteers should be given
training about the organisation's safeguarding policy as part of
Safeguarding training and a clear code of conduct related to
abuse prevention and recognition should be a priority for all
delivery organisations and agencies offering any type of work
involving close and regular contact between staff and clients. The
role of the safeguarding officer is a key element of your
safeguarding practice, providing a single point of contact for
people who are part of your organisation and with those agencies
beyond your organisation.
Third sector organisations play an important role in providing
services and activities for children, young people and adults.
Using a risk based approach and self auditing can help you make
informed decisions about safeguarding within your organisation.
The self audit tool can be used as a checklist to review
safeguarding within your organisation and to identify what else you
might need to do to put safeguards in place. The tool does not
intend, nor can it, cover all possible elements of safeguarding in
third sector organisations. Similarly, it is not possible to
capture all elements in detail such as policy design. It is
designed to highlight your legal responsibilities, good practice
and some areas for practical consideration. Only you can determine
what best possible safeguarding looks like for your
We constantly review the tool so that it reflects current
developments. This version is based on PQASSO Essentials, which
asks about how your organisation or group is implementing
safeguarding as part of governance, leadership and management,
working with users, managing resources and managing staff and
volunteers in particular.
We would like to know how the use of the self assessment tool
changes practice within organisations and how useful people find
it. Contact the safeguarding service if you would like to discuss
your action plan.
DBS and Safer Recruiting
It is essential that third sector organisations carry out
appropriate background checks on staff, volunteers and
trustees. The use of a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS,
formerly CRB) check should be part of your overall safer
recruitment policy and practice. This is strongly recommended
by the Charity Commission.
You can only carry out checks for certain roles and activities.
If you're not sure whether to carry out a check, you can use the DBS
DBS checks must be obtained through an umbrella body registered
with the DBS. The DBS Registered Body that is carrying
out checks on your behalf should confirm the eligibility for the
correct level of check. Further information can be
found on the website.
Where staff or volunteers are working with children or adults at
risk, it is important that the correct level of DBS check is
requested and the requirement for such a check should be made clear
in a job or role description.
- Standard checks are appropriate for roles such
as finance officer or treasurer, where you wish to ascertain the
individual has no known history of fraud.
- Enhanced checks are appropriate for roles
where there is contact with children or adults at risk allowing the
opportunity for a relationship of trust to develop. Enhanced checks
will be made available for roles meeting the eligibility
- Enhanced checks with a barring list check
(adult workforce, children's workforce, or both) are required by
law for individuals working or volunteering in roles which are
Under legislation, there are specific activities and work that a
person who has been barred from working with a particular
vulnerable group (children and/or adults) must not do. This is
known as regulated activity.
If a voluntary organisation is engaging a member of staff or
volunteer in regulated activity then a DBS enhanced check including
a check against the relevant barring list(s) (children and/or
adults) must be carried out before they start in that role.
Employers who wish to engage a person in regulated activity must
not knowingly employ a barred person and are therefore eligible to
ask for an enhanced DBS check to include a check against the
relevant DBS barring list (children and/or adults list). This
barring list check will show if someone is included or not on the
relevant DBS list.
Other work not meeting the definition of regulated activity, but
includes substantial contact with a child or (vulnerable) adult at
risk, may be eligible for an enhanced DBS check as a matter of best
practice. This type of check will not include a check against the
It is not always necessary to carry out a new check every time
you take on a new member of staff or volunteer, or need to recheck
existing staff. Find out more from the DBS
If you are looking for a provider, you may find it helpful to
view this list of DBS checking services (DBS Providers) for more information about
services that can provide standard and enhanced checks for third
You can also contact the WCVA safeguarding service to discuss
check eligibility and the use of DBS checks, including the Update
service, as part of your overall recruitment plan.
Safer Recruiting Maze (under construction)
How to report concerns
The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act
2014 places a statutory duty on all relevant partners
(health, education, etc) of the local authority to refer to the
local authority any adult or child who is suffering or at risk of
suffering abuse, neglect or harm and reinforces the good practice
for any individual or organisation to refer to social services or
the police any child who is suffering or at risk of suffering
If you have a concern about a child:
If any person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is
suffering, has suffered or is likely to be at risk of abuse,
neglect or harm, it is their responsibility to ensure that such
concerns are referred to local social services or the police, who
have statutory duties and powers to make enquiries and intervene
You may also contact:
If you have a concern about an adult:
Protecting an adult at risk should be everyone's paramount
concern. You can contact your local social services office or call
You may also contact:
Duty to refer
There are other statutory duties to report harm and risk of harm
and specifically the duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service for those
carrying out regulated activity.
Any organisation working with vulnerable groups has a statutory
duty to refer an individual to the Disclosure and Barring Service in certain
circumstances. This is independent of any responsibilities to
report cases of harm or abuse to social services, safeguarding
boards or the police.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection
of Freedoms Act 2012 sets the legal duty to refer information and
also defines what is meant by regulated activity, which is work a
barred person cannot do.
Safeguarding Topics Library
This section provides a list of links to more information on
specific issues related to safeguarding.